The Competition Spectrum

The Amateur Archery Ladder – and where S.C.A.A. fits in
The Top Rung of the Target Archery ladder is the Olympic Games, and the First Rung is the competitions arranged between the members of the individual Archery Clubs.

In between are a good many steps, but they are all available to Club Archers who affiliate to the County, Regional and National bodies. A single payment to your Club Treasurer makes you eligible to take part in local, regional, national and international competitions – although some levels involve selection or qualification of course.

The British National Body, Archery GB, is a constituent member of the World Archery Federation, so members of Archery GB are eligible to shoot in events overseas that are organised by clubs or bodies which are members of other National Bodies which are also members of WAF.

The two largest disciplines are Target Archery and Field Archery.
British (and English) teams are sent to Events all over the World in both disciplines, Senior and Junior, Able-bodied and with Disabilities.

Many competitions, even some National Championships, are ‘open’, and any affiliated member can take part. This also applies to some international competitions, but for the most part in order to represent your country you will need to be nominated by either the National Governing Body, or, in the case of the constituent countries of the United Kingdom, by the Home Nation Federation.

The Level-Masters:

First level: Club Archery

Most clubs regularly shoot Rounds, which are not exactly competitions, but give the archers a benchmark and goals. There are often monthly club leagues, and Postal Leagues for all club members. Sometimes the playing field is levelled using the Handicap System so novices can compete fairly against the club champions.

Second level: Local Inter-Club Competitions

Includes Friendlies, and the Sussex Albion League. Includes the full range of Experience and Ability and Variations of Bowstyle likely to be found at Club-Level.

Third level: Intermediate-level Open Competitions in Sussex and nearby counties

Organised by Clubs and County associations. Most of these competitions involve a moderate number of arrows shot at medium distances so that men and women can shoot together. Usually attract entrants from a fairly local catchment, but sometimes the mix includes archers from neighbouring counties.

Fourth Level: County Championships

Following the same basic format as the National Championships, where all entrants shoot twelve dozen arrows at the longest distances required for their gender and age-group, so men, women, and children shoot in different groups. To claim County Trophies archers must be members of the County Association.

Fifth level: National- and World-Record Status Open Competitions

Some are used to compile National Rankings and to select International teams.
These are spread among the counties, and are opportunities for archers wanting to achieve the highest classification ratings. Ambitious archers tend to travel fair distances to these shoots.

Sixth level: Inter-County Matches and Regional Inter-Counties Championships

Teams are selected and managed by County Associations, often using scores shot at Record-Status meetings as a criterion. This is one of S.C.A.A.’s primary functions.

Seventh level: Regional Competitions and Championships

Open to all members of the Regional Society, competing as Individuals or County Teams, or sometimes both. Teams are usually made up of the highest individual scoring archers, so there is usually no selection or nomination process beforehand. To claim Regional Trophies archers must be members of the Regional Society.

Eight level: National Championships

These are organised by Archery GB, usually at Lilleshall in Shropshire, although a few, particularly in disciplines other than Target, are hosted by Regional Societies. They are mostly open to all affiliated members, apart for a few, such as the UK Masters, that are by invitation.

Ninth level: Competitions between the Home Nations

The English Archery Federation selects the teams that represent England at these events.
This level of competition includes various competitions run as side-shows in some of the National Championship meetings.

Tenth level: International Competitions with ad-hoc teams

There are some competitions where Individuals can enter, and be part of their national team if their scores are good enough. This includes events such as the Island Games (open to individuals who either live, or were born, on one of the small islands that are members of the organisation), and the World Games.

Eleventh level: International Competitions that include teams from the individual Home Nations

The English Archery Federation selects and supports teams sent to these events. The EAF is supported by the English Regions (there are five – all the other Home Nations comprise a single region), so to be selected you should be a member of your Regional Society. Regional Societies also give a certain amount of financial support to members representing their country.
This includes the EuroNations, and above all, the Commonwealth Games.

Twelfth level: International Competitions where UK teams are entered

Includes European and World Championships. National Teams, at both Youth and Adult level, are selected (based on performance at Selection Shoots) and supported by Archery GB, which includes organising Training Squads, Coaching Assistance, Travel and Accommodation, Team Uniforms, and Representation on Organising Committees and International Bodies.

Top level: The Olympics

Representation of the Sport of Target Archery in the IOC, and setting-out the qualifying process and competition format for Olympic Archery is handled by the World Archery Federation, until recently known as FITA. Archery GB acts as a member of the British Olympic Association in selecting and managing the Archery Component of Team GB.